Taking the Air

Taking the Air
How does storytelling and reading impact on our psychological, physiological and social wellbeing? Taking the Air, supported by The Wellcome Trust, investigates ideas around breath. 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long-term lung-related illness and 115,000 die from lung disease each year. Together with our partners at Durham University’s Life of Breath project, we present a series of truly fascinating events looking at sighing, singing, poetry, air quality and taking our last breath. Events feature a range of authors including Sam Kean, Imtiaz Dharker, Michael Symmons Roberts and Havi Carel.

A World of Sighs

From Poetry to Prayer

Sunday 13 August 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Seen historically as a way of maintaining a healthy body and mind through the expelling of melancholy, sighing is now fertile ground for psychologists to assess a person’s emotional state. For a history of the sigh, from poetry to prayer and health to...

Taking the Air

Create an Encyclopaedia

Saturday 19 August 10:00am - 5:30pm

Feeling ‘peched oot’ from rushing around the Festival? Pause for a lungful and help create an illuminated encyclopaedia exploring the language and history of breath and air. Contribute your words, definitions, drawings, poems and stories - or simply...

Taking the Air

Create an Encyclopaedia

Sunday 20 August 10:00am - 5:30pm

Feeling ‘peched oot’ from rushing around the Festival? Pause for a lungful and help create an illuminated encyclopaedia exploring the language and history of breath and air. Contribute your words, definitions, drawings, poems and stories - or simply...

Taking the Air

Get it off your Chest

Tuesday 22 August 10:00am - 5:30pm

The EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Proteus is designing and building a new bedside system for Intensive Care Units for rapid and accurate diagnosis of bacterial lung infections. Come along to their pop-up gallery showcasing some of the...

Taking the Air

Get it off your Chest

Wednesday 23 August 10:00am - 5:30pm

The EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Proteus is designing and building a new bedside system for Intensive Care Units for rapid and accurate diagnosis of bacterial lung infections. Come along to their pop-up gallery showcasing some of the...

Taking the Air

Get it off your Chest

Thursday 24 August 10:00am - 5:30pm

The EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Proteus is designing and building a new bedside system for Intensive Care Units for rapid and accurate diagnosis of bacterial lung infections. Come along to their pop-up gallery showcasing some of the...

The Sound of Breath

The Breath in Song and Poetry

Thursday 24 August 5:30pm - 6:30pm

How do poets and composers think about breath? The pause in a line or the length of the note impacts greatly on how an audience hears, connects with and interprets a work. Join novelist, poet and librettist Michael Symmons Roberts and composer Sally...

The History of All We Breathe

Decoding the Secrets of Air

Friday 25 August 12:15pm - 1:15pm

Science writer Sam Kean traces the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere in Caesar’s Last Breath. This fascinating investigation shows how what we breathe has shaped human progress, been the catalyst for revolutions and influences everything we...

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